Moved to KDE 4.3

14 11 2009

I recently caught the upgrade bug.  With the release of Windows 7, Ubuntu 9.10 and a bunch of other new major Linux distributions, I was very tempted to upgrade my Thinkpad X200 running a personalized version of Linux Mint 7.  But the thought of having to re-do all the customization I’ve made was disheartening.  It would have likely taken the better part of a weekend.

So instead, I decided to scratch my upgrade itch and try something a little less drastic. I upgrade my kernel to 2.6.31 (instructions here) even if Mint 7 / Ubuntu 9.04 didn’t officially support.  I also tried out KDE 4.3.

Well, what can I say? I was blown away!

  • Desktop is gorgeous. Looks so much better than GNOME.  Very polished and tightly integrated.  Same visual quality as OS X or Vista.  For an open-source effort, it’s incredible.
  • Power management is better than GNOME. KDE’s Power Devil automatically switches power profiles when I switch to battery mode.  Suspend and hibernate works better too — feels like they work correctly more frequently.
  • Rediscovered Amarok. I’ve tried Amarok before, but it just felt like a mess.  I read somewhere Amarok was built for KDE — now I know why.  Very sophisticated media player. Just need to make it work better with my podcasts 😉

It’s been 4 solid and stable days living in the KDE world.  And I think I’m staying.


Skype Barely Ripe

25 06 2009
The better Skype interface

The better Skype interface

I use Skype a lot.  Initially for just keeping in touch with family, but now more frequently with business contacts.  In fact, we use Skype internally as our default company IM client.  I always felt that Skype’s simplicity and straightforward interface was what kept people happy.

And it goes without saying, voice and video calling experiences are terrific.

Read the rest of this entry »

Same Solid Web Experience on Linux Mint

22 06 2009


Linux Mint 7 already includes the wonderful web browser Mozilla Firefox. Many of you have probably at least heard about Firefox, if not use it on a regular basis.  And I think it’s safe to assume that most of those who have tried Firefox end up sticking with it.  It’s faster and reputably better protected from viruses and other such bad things from the Internet. Read the rest of this entry »

Instant Messaging: No Alternative

21 06 2009


I used to use Disgby on my Windows machine and Adium on the Mac.  For those who don’t know, these two applications are both “multi-protocol” instant messengers.  In other words ,they work with a variety of instant messaging services, such as MSN, Yahoo! and Google.  Very useful if you have different business or personal contacts using different IM services.

On Linux, I’ve been using Pidgin.  It’s been great until a few days ago when the Pidgin wouldn’t connect with Yahoo! Messenger.  And I have a couple of key business contacts whom I work with daily that use Yahoo! Needless to say, I was annoyed. Read the rest of this entry »